Just under 60 minutes before tip-off in Toronto Saturday, a few of the Dallas Mavericks players got in a final workout before they played their first game at Scotiabank Arena since December of 2019.
Kristaps Porzingis and Reggie Bullock were the final two taking shots behind the arc, getting tips from two champions of the game: Retired NBA player Jared Dudley and current L.A. Sparks guard and two-time WNBA champion Kristi Toliver.
The trip north of the border marks the first time the Mavs have been back in Canada since the pandemic and Toliver’s with her new team.
“Twenty-nineteen,” Toliver told Sportsnet. “2019 was the last time I was in Canada and it was with the [Washington] Wizards so it’s been a while.”
What brings Toliver back to Canada for the first time in nearly 24-months is her relatively new role as assistant coach of the Mavericks under the helm of Dallas first-year head coach Jason Kidd.
“It really organically happened,” Toliver said about her coaching gig with the Mavericks. “I always knew after I retired I would stay in the game, but I didn't know in what capacity. But I'm glad I'm doing this. I’m extremely happy with where I am and I am going to continue to learn and to grow from all of these guys that I am fortunate enough to be around every day.”